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Lake happy with heart, but not result

Dewi Lake during the first Test in Sydney

Lake happy with heart, but not result

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Wales skipper Dewi Lake was proud of his side’s effort in the 25-16 defeat to Australia in Sydney but was the first to admit post-match that “unfortunately resilience doesn’t win games”.

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As new Wallaby coach Joe Schmidt notched a win in his first game in charge, Lake was left to reflect on an eighth straight defeat for Wales, who now haven’t won a game since last year’s World Cup pool stages.

“Credit to the heart displayed by the boys, that’s going to take us far, but as a young team we have got to learn how to win games. We have got to learn how to put points on the board and see games out,” said Lake.

“Australia put points on the board and made us chase the game. We said after the game against the Springboks we can’t afford to leave opportunities on the field and there were a couple of opportunities that went begging for us and that’s probably the difference on the scoreboard.”

The Welsh cause in chasing a first win over the Wallabies on Aussie sold since 1969 wasn’t helped when they had a try chalked off in the 57th minute after the TMO spotted some obstruction in an otherwise immaculate shift drive from a close-range line-out.

“It’s always tough when you are stood on the half-way line getting ready to receive a kick-off and the try gets chalked off, but you can’t argue with decisions from officials,” added Lake.

“It felt like a turning point from us, and a big blow as we were looking to get back into the game. It’s all about learning quickly and learning how to see out these games.”

Head coach Warren Gatland said he would be seeking clarification from the match officials on the ruling that denied Jim Botham a try from his first involvement in the game after coming on as a second half replacement for Taine Plumtree.

But Gatland wasn’t blaming that moment for his side losing the game. He was more concerned with the number of turnovers (18) and penalties (11) his side conceded.

“The game was probably lost in the first half. We spoke at half time about the number of turnovers and penalties and talked about accuracy,” said Gatland.

“We created some chances, but also hurt ourselves with a number of turnovers. We got back into the game and I’ll need to get some clarity on the disallowed try from the maul because I’m not 100% sure on the decision and it would have given us a conversion to go in front.

“It was a tough, physical game and definitely the turnovers didn’t help our momentum when we were looking to put Australia under pressure.

“Where we are at the moment, we just aren’t getting any 50-50 calls. We’ll just have to work through that.

“We’re going to have to develop this team and they’ll need to learn from these experiences. There were some real positives out there in terms of what we are trying to do.

“We’ve said all along that we are trying to build this team. We are showing some glimpses and I hope people can see what we are trying to do looking toward the next World Cup.

“I know there is going to be pressure because of the losing run at the moment, but we’ve been in games, and been in front in games in that time. We could easily have won a few and tonight was the same.

“With a bit more accuracy and a few things going your way we could have won. They are the big moments we need to learn from and ensuring that when it’s an arm wrestle you end up on the winning side of the scoreboard.”

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